James Forsyth

What’s next on expenses?

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Here is a quick take on some of the questions being discussed in Westminster right now:

Are the Telegraph done when it comes to Labour and Tory frontbenchers? The Tories seem confident that there is no more to come out about their top team. The situation on the Labour side is less clear.

How will the Lib Dems come out of this? One Tory MP I spoke to on Saturday viewed the Lib Dems as key to how much damage these revelations would inflict on the two main parties. If the Lib Dems can play the clean card, then they could cause real problems for all incumbents who have been implicated.

Who will be the fall guys? On the Labour side, Hazel Blears is clearly—and for obvious reasons—being set up as the sacrificial lamb. (Geoff Hoon’s activities appear worse than hers ) There is as yet no obvious Tory equivalent. The closest there is, is Francis Maude whose actions are causing the most disgust among Tories and who is also in the second jobs firing line. I suspect that Cameron wouldn’t mind too much if a couple of Tory backbenches have behaved appallingly, then he could expel them from the party enabling him to look decisive and tap into the public mood. 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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